Brash And Abrasive
Turner refused to modify his occasionally abrasive style, even when navigating the somewhat staid sailing ranks. Because of his brashness he was awarded the moniker "Mouth of the South." His outspokenness, however, did not affect his sailing prowess. A string of successes culminated in Turner being named Yachtsman of the Year in 1970. In fact, he bested Bill Ficker who, as Intrepid captain earlier that year, engineered an America's Cup victory over Australia's Gretel II. Turner won the same award again in 1973, 1977 and 1979.
Meanwhile, Turner continued to build a media empire. In January 1970, Turner Communications Corp.'s merger with Rice Broadcasting brought it WJRJ, the weaker of two UHF (Ultra High Frequency) independent stations in the Atlanta market. To fill what seemed like endless programming hours, Turner broadcast popular, low-cost 1960s fare such as "Leave it to Beaver" and reruns of "I Love Lucy." Moreover, he won a bidding contest in 1973 with a competing Atlanta television station for rights to 60 baseball games played by the then struggling Atlanta Braves, three times the number previously televised.